Travel with kids in Jerusalem

A great new site Seven Suitcases features my musings on what to do with kids when travelling in Jerusalem. There are already a few posts on the site — yes, it hasn’t officially launched yet — from other spots around the world. I think it’s a fabulous site, run by someone who can best be described as a free […]

Intifada Bethlehem 2: Dehaisha’s hero

At one of the Bethlehem locations from my first novel The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders) with a group of Norwegian visitors who posted some brief videos. This one is in Dehaisha Refugee Camp and we’re talking about Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader.  

Intifada Bethlehem 1: Beit Jala violence

At one of the Bethlehem locations from my first novel The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders) with a group of Norwegian visitors who posted some brief videos. This one is in Beit Jala, looking across the deep wadi at Jerusalem and talking about the gunbattles that used to take place there.

My Mozart novel and the intifada

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published today in the UK by Corvus. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 and […]

Bethlehem upbeat for Christmas

For the first time in years, the people of Bethlehem have something more to celebrate at Christmas than the recollection of an important birth in their town 2,000 years ago. After the city’s economy was devastated by the Palestinian intifada over the last decade, Bethlehem’s economic recovery has picked up pace in the last year […]

Extreme weather boosts creativity

Samuel Johnson wrote that “When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.” The good doctor wrote that in 1758, long before the conversation of Englishmen was informed by the hyperbolic outrage of London’s present tabloids. Just lately it seems he might amend his phrasing to “their only talk.” The British are in […]

New West Bank road to peace?

ST. GEORGE’S MONASTERY, West Bank — Gathered in the chapel of this outpost in the Judean Desert last week, the Orthodox priests chanted “Lord, have mercy” in Greek, in a service of blessing for a new road that makes the venerable building accessible to the growing number of tourists willing to dare a visit to […]